A Reactive Molecular Dynamics Study of Chlorinated Organic Compounds. Part I: Force Field Development

L. Komissarov, L. Krep, F. Schmalz, W. A. Kopp, K. Leonhard, T. Verstraelen


In our two-paper series, we first present the development of ReaxFF CHOCl parameters using the recently published ParAMS parametrization tool. In this second part, we update the reactive Molecular Dynamics - Quantum Mechanics coupling scheme ChemTraYzer and combine it with our new ReaxFF parameters from Part I to study formation and decomposition processes of chlorinated dibenzofurans. We introduce a self-learning method for recovering failed transition-state searches that improves the overall ChemTraYzer transition-state search success rate by 10 percentage points to a total of 48 %. With ChemTraYzer, we automatically find and quantify more than 500 reactions using transition state theory and DFT. Among the discovered chlorinated dibenzofuran reactions are numerous reactions that are new to the literature. In three case studies, we discuss the set of reactions that are most relevant to the dibenzofuran literature: (i) bimolecular reactions of the chlorinated-dibenzofuran precursors phenoxy radical and 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene, (ii) dibenzofuran chlorination and pyrolysis, and (iii) oxidation of chlorinated dibenzofurans.